Citation
Joybubbles (Joe Engressia)

Material Information

Title:
Joybubbles (Joe Engressia)
Series Title:
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Creator:
Joybubbles ( Joe Engressia )
Huse, Andrew T
University of South Florida Libraries -- Florida Studies Center. -- Oral History Program
University of South Florida -- Tampa Library
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publisher:
University of South Florida Tampa Library
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 sound file (43 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Telephone systems ( lcsh )
Genre:
Oral history. ( local )
Online audio. ( local )
interview ( marcgt )
Oral history ( local )
Online audio ( local )

Notes

Summary:
Joe Engressia, a USF student in the late 1960s who now goes by the name Joybubbles, discusses his popularity on campus during his time as a student. He was well-known for his "phone phreaking" skills with which he could make telephone calls for free. He was also known as "The Whistler."
Venue:
Interview conducted August 23, 2004.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Statement of Responsibility:
interviewed by Andrew Huse.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
029350035 ( ALEPH )
277245323 ( OCLC )
U23-00038 ( USFLDC DOI )
u23.38 ( USFLDC Handle )

USFLDC Membership

Aggregations:
USF 50th (2006) Anniversary Oral History Project

Postcard Information

Format:
Audio

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text
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Joe Engressia, a USF student in the late 1960s who now goes by the name Joybubbles, discusses his popularity on campus during his time as a student. He was well-known for his "phone phreaking" skills with which he could make telephone calls for free. He was also known as "The Whistler."
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xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
transcript timecoded false doi U23-00038 skipped 9 dategenerated 2015-06-10 19:31:58
segment idx 0time text length 13 Moving to USF
2152 Joybubbles, then known as Joe Engressia (aka the "Whistler"), decided to move from Miami to Tampa in order to attend classes at USF in the fall of 1968.
319 Initial impressions
5179 Initially, he remembers being impressed by the facilities on campus, though he was, "of course, deflated that there wasn't phones in the room, being that I'm a real phone artist."
6Academics
8301 Joybubbles was not "properly motivated" enough as a young student to really have a clear vision of what his goals were. Academically, he went from electrical engineering to mathematics to business administration, recalling that he "hadn't really thought it through at the time what I really wanted."
922 Interest in telephones
11258 He first became interested in the telephone at the young age of three years, when, as he was playing, he declared to his mother that he was "a telephone man forever ... Last year I celebrated fifty years of that ... and I still am just fascinated with [it]."
1221 Engressia's blindness
14427 Mr. Engressia was born totally blind, as was his sister. Thus deprived of sight, he found an appeal in telephone communications because of "the electronics, the sound, reaching out to people, the technical challenge ... I could learn it so good I could do things with it that people never knew it could be done." Because he could not write things down, he had to rely upon his memory as he learned various tricks of telephony.
15188 While he was attending school in Tampa, he obtained a book on tape entitled, The Fundamentals of Telephony. "I was playing that a lot while I was at USF instead of studying like I should."
1616 Student protests
18159 While he was a student at USF, Engressia remembers that there was "a lot of passion" about the war in Vietnam, evident in frequent protests and demonstrations.
1939 Spending time at the Holiday Inn hotels
21586 He used to spend a lot of time going to local Holiday Inn hotel swimming pools where he particularly enjoyed playing with children and smelling the chlorine. "I loved Holiday Inns at that time ... Partly it was a place of peace for me ... kind of a different world that I really liked." On one occasion, Joybubbles even journeyed as far as Jacksonville to stay in a Holiday Inn hotel. "That [trip] was really when I first realized that I could actually move away from home and live by myself ... It was a real kind of a critical spiritual turning point there on Friday, May 30 of 1969."
22Departure
24257 Engressia left USF in March 1971 without having graduated. "I didn't know really why I wanted [a degree] or what it would do for me ... I wasn't getting what I needed or what I wanted from the education system ... It was just something that was compulsory."
25Whistling
27642 He really did not participate in too many campus social activities, until, after a couple months at USF, he gained some notoriety as the "Whistler," a skill whereby he "whistled" long-distance phone calls illegally without being charged any fees. He became quite popular among students, providing twenty-five to thirty students with free long-distance calls. Before too long, a security agent from General Telephone came to see him. Though he does not remember the specifics, some sort of disciplinary hearing was held on campus where he had to explain his behavior. As a result, he recalls being suspended for the rest of the academic term.
28148 Engressia's whistling became known as "phone freaking," and spread among various people all over the country who took an interest in the phenomenon.
29Calls around the world
3199 On a number of occasions, Joybubbles completed phone calls to himself all the way around the world.
32Delta Gamma escorts
34361 For some time, the girls of Delta Gamma sorority at USF agreed to escort Engressia around campus from one building to another. However, after he started getting into legal troubles from his behavior, the girls discontinued their efforts. Forced to make the trips across campus on his own, he remembers having to ask a lot of people along the way for directions.
3518 National publicity
37325 Engressia started to gain national notoriety as "the Whistler," appearing on shows like Larry King, and conducting radio interviews with stations as far away as Ireland. "It was quite novel then ... It was pretty exciting ... After all these years, somebody was actually taking an interest in me and it was quite gratifying."
3855 Engressia believes his IQ was once measured around 172.
3917 Ham radio license
41171 After being encouraged by so many to do so, Engressia eventually went out and obtained his ham radio operator's license. "But still, it was nothing compared to the phone."
42Phone friends
44254 One of his "big obsessions" currently is setting up local numbers in Australia, so that he can become "phone friends" with people from areas on the other side of the world. He is also now able to access the internet and other features over the telephone.
4511 Name change
47385 As a survivor of child abuse, Engressia decided to change his name to Joybubbles in an attempt to recover the childhood that he felt he never really had. "In 1988 I decided to have a childhood at last." He first picked the name while spending some time at a spiritual retreat. The name quickly caught on among his friends, and in 1991 he went to court and had his name changed legally.
4810 Ordination
50198 He also at one time obtained a ministerial certificate in metaphysical ordination from the Community of Spiritual Seekers in Florida. "So I could legally marry people if I knew how which I don't."
5115 Closing remarks
53250 "I'm still glad I went to [the] University of South Florida ... Everything you learn goes together to make your life more rounded and interesting ... I think the university experience is valuable ... I like to give back what I can, share what I can."
54End of Interview
unicode


xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
transcript timecoded false doi U23-00038 skipped 9 dategenerated 2015-06-10 19:31:58
segment idx 0time text length 13 Moving to USF
2152 Joybubbles, then known as Joe Engressia (aka the "Whistler"), decided to move from Miami to Tampa in order to attend classes at USF in the fall of 1968.
319 Initial impressions
5179 Initially, he remembers being impressed by the facilities on campus, though he was, "of course, deflated that there wasn't phones in the room, being that I'm a real phone artist."
6Academics
8301 Joybubbles was not "properly motivated" enough as a young student to really have a clear vision of what his goals were. Academically, he went from electrical engineering to mathematics to business administration, recalling that he "hadn't really thought it through at the time what I really wanted."
922 Interest in telephones
11258 He first became interested in the telephone at the young age of three years, when, as he was playing, he declared to his mother that he was "a telephone man forever ... Last year I celebrated fifty years of that ... and I still am just fascinated with [it]."
1221 Engressia's blindness
14427 Mr. Engressia was born totally blind, as was his sister. Thus deprived of sight, he found an appeal in telephone communications because of "the electronics, the sound, reaching out to people, the technical challenge ... I could learn it so good I could do things with it that people never knew it could be done." Because he could not write things down, he had to rely upon his memory as he learned various tricks of telephony.
15188 While he was attending school in Tampa, he obtained a book on tape entitled, The Fundamentals of Telephony. "I was playing that a lot while I was at USF instead of studying like I should."
1616 Student protests
18159 While he was a student at USF, Engressia remembers that there was "a lot of passion" about the war in Vietnam, evident in frequent protests and demonstrations.
1939 Spending time at the Holiday Inn hotels
21586 He used to spend a lot of time going to local Holiday Inn hotel swimming pools where he particularly enjoyed playing with children and smelling the chlorine. "I loved Holiday Inns at that time ... Partly it was a place of peace for me ... kind of a different world that I really liked." On one occasion, Joybubbles even journeyed as far as Jacksonville to stay in a Holiday Inn hotel. "That [trip] was really when I first realized that I could actually move away from home and live by myself ... It was a real kind of a critical spiritual turning point there on Friday, May 30 of 1969."
22Departure
24257 Engressia left USF in March 1971 without having graduated. "I didn't know really why I wanted [a degree] or what it would do for me ... I wasn't getting what I needed or what I wanted from the education system ... It was just something that was compulsory."
25Whistling
27642 He really did not participate in too many campus social activities, until, after a couple months at USF, he gained some notoriety as the "Whistler," a skill whereby he "whistled" long-distance phone calls illegally without being charged any fees. He became quite popular among students, providing twenty-five to thirty students with free long-distance calls. Before too long, a security agent from General Telephone came to see him. Though he does not remember the specifics, some sort of disciplinary hearing was held on campus where he had to explain his behavior. As a result, he recalls being suspended for the rest of the academic term.
28148 Engressia's whistling became known as "phone freaking," and spread among various people all over the country who took an interest in the phenomenon.
29Calls around the world
3199 On a number of occasions, Joybubbles completed phone calls to himself all the way around the world.
32Delta Gamma escorts
34361 For some time, the girls of Delta Gamma sorority at USF agreed to escort Engressia around campus from one building to another. However, after he started getting into legal troubles from his behavior, the girls discontinued their efforts. Forced to make the trips across campus on his own, he remembers having to ask a lot of people along the way for directions.
3518 National publicity
37325 Engressia started to gain national notoriety as "the Whistler," appearing on shows like Larry King, and conducting radio interviews with stations as far away as Ireland. "It was quite novel then ... It was pretty exciting ... After all these years, somebody was actually taking an interest in me and it was quite gratifying."
3855 Engressia believes his IQ was once measured around 172.
3917 Ham radio license
41171 After being encouraged by so many to do so, Engressia eventually went out and obtained his ham radio operator's license. "But still, it was nothing compared to the phone."
42Phone friends
44254 One of his "big obsessions" currently is setting up local numbers in Australia, so that he can become "phone friends" with people from areas on the other side of the world. He is also now able to access the internet and other features over the telephone.
4511 Name change
47385 As a survivor of child abuse, Engressia decided to change his name to Joybubbles in an attempt to recover the childhood that he felt he never really had. "In 1988 I decided to have a childhood at last." He first picked the name while spending some time at a spiritual retreat. The name quickly caught on among his friends, and in 1991 he went to court and had his name changed legally.
4810 Ordination
50198 He also at one time obtained a ministerial certificate in metaphysical ordination from the Community of Spiritual Seekers in Florida. "So I could legally marry people if I knew how which I don't."
5115 Closing remarks
53250 "I'm still glad I went to [the] University of South Florida ... Everything you learn goes together to make your life more rounded and interesting ... I think the university experience is valuable ... I like to give back what I can, share what I can."
54End of Interview
unicode



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